The best natural fruit cordials are far superior to the awful squash drinks on supermarket shelves. Most contain artificial sweetener, which aside from being dodgy, leave a funny aftertaste. Even Robinson’s Barley Water puts it in now, so you can’t find a proper squash with a little natural cane sugar, if you’re playing at Wimbledon. Beware of any cordial that uses artificial anything (avoid bottles made with pet-toxic xylitol, an animal could die if it licked any up, if it spilled).
Yes, these have a little natural cane sugar. But that’s because it’s too bitter to drink lemon juice! Just brush your teeth a short while after drinking, if you’re worried about decaying teeth. But these are only for treats anyway, and a good way to get more water into you.
- Urban Cordial is a great brand, that makes fruit squash from surplus fruits. Flavours include Elderflower, Strawberry Sage, Raspberry Rosemary, Blackberry Lavender and Pear Ginger. Bored of working in the city, Natasha switched hats and so far, her company has saved over 30 tonnes of fruit from landfill.
- Rocks Organic is a popular brand, although they are very sweet, so water them down well (and don’t leave opened bottles around, or you’ll be visited by ants and wasps). This company was set up by three dads, and offers orange, lemon or blackcurrant flavours. Found in all good health stores and farm shops, and in many supermarkets. They are also packed in glass bottles.
- Kendal Cordials are made in the heart of the Lake District. The original elderflower recipe was developed with fresh root ginger and a splash of lemon. Other flavours include spiced apple, strawberry and black pepper, and lemon.
- Hedgerow Cordials make fruity drinks, from whatever fruits they can lay their hands on. Present flavours include spiced apple, rhubarb ginger, wild elderflower, spiced plum and pear cinnamon.
- Norfolk Cordials believe that the salty sea air, rich soil and summer sun makes some of the tastiest fruits in England. These cold-pressed fruit syrups include strawberry lime, rhubarb ginger, raspberry, wild elderflower, blackberry and blackberry quince.
- Yarty Cordials hail from the Blackdown Hills in Somerset, made to old family recipes (a splash of history in every bottle). These are so fresh, the flavours change with the seasons: raspberry elderflower, rhubarb ginger, blackberry, raspberry and blueberry.
- Tree Top Press (Yorkshire) makes cordials, from fruits collected from local hedgerows. Elderflowers grow abundantly on the North York Moors. Or choose raspberry, strawberry, rhubarb vanilla or tayberry (like a cross between blackberry and raspberry).